(Photo credit: Scott Utterback/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK)
Ray Davis rushed for a career-high 280 yards and scored four touchdowns to propel host Kentucky to a 33-14 defeat of No. 22 Florida, Saturday afternoon in Lexington.
Davis, a fifth-year back at his third FBS school, scored three of his touchdowns in the first half as the Wildcats (5-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) sprinted to a 23-0 lead on its way to beating a ranked Gators team for the third straight year.
Florida (3-2, 1-1) was led by Graham Mertz, who completed 25 of 30 passes for 244 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Davis had touchdown runs of 75, 3 and 2 yards and turned a screen pass into a 9-yard scoring play. Davis averaged 10.8 yards on his 26 rushes.
Three minutes into the second quarter, when Davis ripped off a 33-yard run, he exceeded his previous career high of 167 rushing yards, which he accomplished last year at Vanderbilt in a loss to South Carolina.
He came up 19 yards short of the Kentucky single-game rushing mark of 299, established by Moe Williams.
With Davis in high gear from the start, Kentucky scored on its first four possessions. Five Davis rushes accounted for 60 of the yards in an 81-yard march that set up a 24-yard field goal by Alex Raynor to open the game.
Davis' first touchdown came on a pass from Devin Leary. It was set up by a 21-yard interception return by Trevin Wallace and gave Kentucky a 10-0 lead.
On their next possession, the Wildcats punted but a Gators' penalty on the play sustained the drive. Davis took advantage immediately, bolting off tackle and breaking into the clear on his 75-yard jaunt on the next play.
Davis' 3-yard scoring run capped an 80-yard march and put Florida up 23-0 with 8:54 to play in the first half.
In the middle periods, Florida got touchdown passes of 4 and 33 yards from Mertz, which were sandwiched around Davis' fourth touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, Raynor booted a 50-yard field goal, his 12th straight dating to last year when he kicked for Georgia Southern.
Since snapping a 31-game losing streak against Florida in 2018, Kentucky has won four of the last six meetings.
--Field Level Media